In this submission of Gibran’s Biography review, I’d like to focus on how much the biographers, Jean and Kahlil Gibran, rely on diary materials from people whose life paths have crossed Gibran’s. One thing to notice is how people around Gibran liked to keep diaries. I’m not sure if it is the custom back then to keep a diary.
The first lady that catches Gibran’s attention, as narrated in this biography is Josephine Preston Peabody, a prominent female self-taught poet. A lot of the materials used to write this biography come from Peabody’s journal entries. She puts her emotion in those entries. And she does it regularly. From there, we can see when her relationship with Gibran starts and when it starts waning. Reading those entries, I feel like I am reading a narrative from some sort of novel. The difference is, this one is from a real life person.
The second significant contributor to the material of Gibran’s biography is Mary Haskell’s diary entries. A straightforward educator, Mary is not the kind to put her emotion even into her diary. Jean and Kahlil Gibran don’t fail to highlight Mary’s intention with regards to her diaries. She writes her journal entries to document her life, with the language of newspaper reporting, so that when a need to reconstruct the past (by someone) arises, the diary entries could come in handy. Here we are now, reading a biography that relies a lot on her journal entries.